How to Set Up Your First Website with WordPress

How to Set Up Your First Website with WordPress

Websites used to be an optional tool that would allow you to reach more customers or share your current offerings with existing customers. Today’s world is propelled by digital content and service-based businesses, such as coaches and consultants, require them to reach their ideal customers and beat out competitors. When it comes to starting your own mom website (or having someone do it for you) WordPress is one of the most popular options and, in my opinion, the best choice. Consider the following when setting up your mom website with WordPress.

Know the Difference

If you are unfamiliar with WordPress in name only, you may be tempted to just go with wordpress.com account. While this site may look like what you need, the best choice is actually a wordpress.org account. Both sites fall under the WordPress name and are actually part of the same company, but they are very different and serve different purposes.

WordPress.com is not a self-hosted site. That means it’s a great option for bloggers, journalists, and in some cases portfolios, but it’s not a good choice for anyone who wants to monetize their website, provide services or courses, or even offer a shopping experience on their site. It does not allow for full customization and can be “clunky” to operate.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for your first mom website. Like the .com site, it is free, but it does require you to purchase a hosting plan from a compatible host (such as Bluehost, SiteGround, HostGator, etc.). WordPress.org allows you to fully customize your business pages, online stores, monetized blogs, and much more.

Find a Host

In order to take advantage of the perks that come with self-hosting your website, you’ll need to find a hosting platform. Bluehost is an inexpensive and reputable hosting company. They often offer promotions like a free domain name and have a very user-friendly interface. Bluehost and WordPress are highly compatible and are made to work with each other and, because it’s a low-cost option, it is a good choice for new website owners.

Of course, you don’t have to use Bluehost. As I mentioned before, there are other platforms you can host on, and many of them offer similar perks. Ask around for recommendations and take time to consider whether the company is reputable and offer strong customer support.  Ultimately, your platform choice is up to you.

Choose Your Theme

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of creating your own website is designing it. WordPress offers a huge selection of options for choosing the way people see your website.

While you can let your imagination run wild, it’s wise to have a few ideas of what you want your site to look like in advance. Take a look at some of your favorite websites and draw inspiration from those. You can easily choose from a variety of free and paid themes on WordPress to get you started. If you do choose a free theme, just know that you’ll be able to upgrade it down the line if you need additional features.

Don’t want to design your website yourself? No worries – we at Sarah Brumley Marketing are here to help. We love designing websites, creating engaging content, and helping you reach your ideal clients.

Use Customizable Settings

No matter what theme you choose, you will be able to customize some aspects of it! There are a variety of settings both on your theme and on your WordPress site as a whole that you’ll want to get familiar with. Take the time to click around on the back end of your site and make adjustments. A little bit of trial and error can help you learn a lot about your website and how to keep it running long-term.

Things you might want to consider include:

  • Have you added a logo?
  • Can your visitors leave comments?
  • What will be included in your menus?
  • Did you add that first blog post?

There are so many options for customization that you’ll likely not be able to get them right the first time. Instead, play around with the site, and learn how to make it look and feel like your brand.

Plugins

Another way to customize your site is by using plugins. According to Wikipedia (the most reputable source, of course!), a plugin is “a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program”. In simple words, a plugin allows you to do additional things you can’t do with the basic version of WordPress.

WordPress offers every type of plugin imaginable from tools that will help you get feedback from your visitors to tools that will help you see what your site traffic looks like. Find the ones that are most valuable and relevant to your website.

Two of my favorites include:

  • Yoast– you need this for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. The plugin is free and you don’t need to upgrade for it to be a valuable tool.
  • Better Click to Tweet– If you are on Twitter or want to be, this is a great option for your site. Again, it’s free and it’s a valuable tool to allow others to share your content right to Twitter.

Create Content

A website is just a blank page until you add content. Blogs need pages, blog posts, and places to connect with your visitors. Online stores need all of that plus a place where your customers can shop. Having solid content on all your pages and posting on your site regularly can make you more relevant in the digital space.

The key to good content is knowing what your ideal client is looking for and writing for them. Your website content should be engaging and drive results (i.e. subscribers or sales).

Monetize Your Site

What good is your website if you’re not making money from it? There are nearly endless options for pulling money in from your website and you can take advantage of all of them. The most obvious choice for making money from your site is selling your products or services, but you can do even more than just that by monetizing with ads, affiliate marketing, and even with sponsored posts. In fact, adding all of these streams of monetization is a great way to help boost your profits on your mom website with WordPress.

Website Overwhelm

Building or setting up a mom website with WordPress for the first time can be stressful and overwhelming at times. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the details, we at Sarah Brumley Marketing would love to help. Schedule your free consultation today to learn about the services we offer and how we can help you maximize your organic online marketing efforts so that you can get back to the things that matter most to you!

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